Design to Grow: How Coca-Cola Learned to Combine Scale and Agility (and How You Can Too)

Linda Tischler

Language: English

Pages: 256

ISBN: 1451671822

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Expert advice from Coca-Cola’s vice president of Innovation and Entrepreneurship: Learn how Coca-Cola uses design to grow its business by combining the advantages of scale with the agility to respond to fast-changing market conditions.

In today’s world, every company is at risk of having a “Kodak Moment”—watching its industry and the competitive advantages it has developed over years, even decades, vanish overnight. The reason? An inability to adapt quickly to new business realities. Established companies are at risk, but it’s no easier being an agile startup, because most of those fail due to their inability to scale. Tomorrow’s business winners—regardless of size or industry—will be the ones that know how to combine scale with agility.

In Design to Grow, a Coca-Cola senior executive shares both the successes and failures of one of the world’s largest companies as it learns to use design to be both agile and big. In this rare and unprecedented behind-the-scenes look, David Butler and senior Fast Company editor, Linda Tischler, use plain language and easy-to-understand case studies to show how this works at Coca-Cola—and how other companies can use the same approach to grow their business. This book is a must-read for managers inside large corporations as well as entrepreneurs just getting started.

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can all be complicated. When a topic is complex, it’s something that has many different and connected parts. We often use the terms interchangeably but they are quite different. Something can be complex, but still easy to understand. While complicated is almost invariably bad, complexity can be a good thing. Consider this: Today’s smart phone reportedly has more processing power than the computers in the first rocket that carried a man to the moon. I haven’t yet found the app to launch a trip

issue and part of everything. Tom Peters If you ever thought growing your business was tough, try selling water. In first-world countries, clean, drinkable water is ubiquitous and, for the most part, feels free. Turn on the tap, and you’re good to go. What’s more, most people think water basically tastes the same no matter where you live. Eau de Grand Rapids, in their minds, is not that much different from Stuttgart H2O. Hardly a potential business model there. Put it in a bottle, however,

look at another Coke Case. This time we’ll show how designing for emergence can go beyond product development into training and support services. Coke Case: 5by20 Program In chapter 5, we saw how an investment in tiny businesses that are inaccessible by normal delivery systems is paying off, both for Coca-Cola and for the 2500 individual entrepreneurs who run them. The manual distribution centers (MDCs) in Africa are also a great example of modular systems that are designed to change over time.

stuff on our (literal and virtual) desktops, children’s birthday parties, the menu for dinner, and so on. In fact, we’re all designers—we all design, all the time. It’s just that each of us is better at designing some things than others. Most people understand that there’s a difference between good and bad design. And the same goes for companies—most people understand that companies are also better at designing some things better than others. So the challenge is not whether or not we should NY Daily News. (2012, July 24) participating farmers double their income. “2011/2012 Sustainability Report,” Accessed March 20, 2014. cases of soda sold in the United States. “Pepsico Sues Coca-Cola

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